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Google vs. Apple — Android vs. Apple’s iOS


I am an avid reader of TechCrunch and Mashable and spend quite some energy retweeting and posting to Facebook when I am inspired to broadcast or share.

While reading this article on TechCrunch I was actually compelled to comment in more detail and below is the comment.

To save you a hearty read, the key point in this article is that Android is likely to be an “explosive” force in 2011.  The author makes a good case but partially agrees and argues with Scoble popular opinions that this is bad for iOS/iPhone.  In turn, Scoble feels that bad for iOS/iPhone means bad for everyone because excellence is delivered effectively via the efforts of quality control from the single source Apple.

These comments quickly turned to the topic of passion that everyone in our sector thinks quite a bit about.  This article activated the readers to chime in with their ideas and expert opinions so I am no different.  As I tend not to blog too often, I decided to bridge this with our corporate blog.  This post-pc era perspective touches many of the same elements in our business transformation consulting services.

Ahh this conversation is fun to postulate about… with so many opinions and perspectives.

Apple vs. Google in the platform war: my take is Apple wins, this is why.

The AppStore/iTunes/iAd/OS and overall ecosystem of Apple is pretty strong and scaling pretty well.  They are performing amazing feats of business scalability.  As long as they keep their operational performance high, they may have an advantage of quality that other platform makers won’t be able to ensure.  Don’t under estimate the dark power of that force.

Additionally, please keep in mind that Apple is gaining serious “market shifting” advantages developing the consumer option of simplicity in a deeply complicated market with competing daily “explosions” and distracting noises, logic and tremendous budgets.
In the “post-pc era” the technical/marketing elements that previously won the leadership positions are not the keys to this new kingdom. The rules of success in the cloud based, “app for that” centric, always on, live/on-demand data access, with consumer driven collaborative intelligence, monitization and consumption.

Have a look at this WolframAlpha “analysis”:
Money matters in this platform fight.  Apple/Google are an epic force with their operational cost/profit story.

Google/Android has a lot going for it and the logic of creating an open platform is very much the key to the win so I agree that the Android platform has rich promise as a market maker and contender. (I won’t rehash the authors concrete points on why Android is strong.)

As long as Apple remains essentially closed they are creating enemies but they are also setting the pace and trend.  I also believe that Apple is at the lead of forging new ground for consumer behavior, as the leader in this essential element, it sets another tough hurdle for any other competitor.

Leaders like Apple set the pace, distance, and altitude of the mountain marathon race.  That can be the wining advantage.

With all this fighting, I hope the winners keep their eye on their larger responsibilities as global citizens.  The fight is fun to watch and play while dominance story plays out but the stakes are high and match point is defining our freedom and our future.

The winners will be leading the information rights and access definition of this new era and we have seen that companies that measure their success by profit/shareholder value alone don’t tend to think about the bigger picture.

Google and China – A larger story is unfolding…


While many people consider the position of Google from many perspectives: the ethical stance, the US/Chinese relationship, and the commercial value lost, it should be noted that most Google consumers / people are reacting emotionally to something they really want from Google.  Integrity.

The non-tech analysts are excited to see Google standing up and reversing the stance on filtering the Internet and not following the rules of the ruling party in China.  It would be characterized as a move closer towards their “don’t be evil” mantra.

I don’t think the decision is based on ethics but it might play a part of how the news was announced.  What is clear is there is a growing distrust of Google and the inclination to be just another company chasing the money and the consumers are wishing for more integrity from Google as a company.

I think this is Google starting to act like a big company.  I think this Guardian article by Jonathan Fenby really provides rich perspective on what is really going on.  Google is getting involved with geopolitical matters and playing in a new, rougher game than before.

China’s ruling party is not going to appreciate losing face.  This is very important and will play a part in Google’s future in China.  The user base for Google in China is 300 million and they only have 30% market share  (300 million by chance the same number as the entire US population)

Logo_cn Hillary Obama

For a more comprehensive analysis and story, read this blog post. The P.S. sections are also very valuable.

Update: The Economist says on its online front page that the decision has a commercial tail.


Microsoft has a real chance for changing all games with Azure


What will the answer be from other players?  Is Microsoft making a comeback? or have they really been here for years?

As a technologist, I’ve been following the major changes in the field for many moons. It’s not an easy battle to understand the daily shifts in the global information platform game. In someways, it is exhausting and exciting.  You need to have marathon level stamina and perspective too.  I balance that information-gathering hobby with professionally practiced skills of trying to actually implement the marketing department’s promises. Those technologies are epic and small.  The real shift in power comes from big companies that focus their business like laser on key industries to change the world with ideas and new ways of working. (Don’t “starfish and spider” me.. there are two sides to that book.)

The US has been a leader in tech and have been powerful because critical mass and adoption matters in certain early phases of technology introduction. No one has been better at reaching that all important critical mass than Microsoft. Their market penetration for defining computer usage has been effective in determining how we all think about what is possible with a computer. However, life has not been rosy at the top for Microsoft in recent years, they were not Internet driven as much as other players and Google is giving them a serious run for the money. Additionally, they made grave mistakes, gotten bogged down in their own internal interests and managed to hire some very smart people that were too smart to listen to the market.

The products became less exciting, the competition seemed to be running past with all the best ideas and it looked as if Microsoft was going the way of DEC, IBM and other big players that started out calling all the shots but got lazy or burdened by their own directions.

Apple, Google, Oracle, Intel and Amazon all seemed to be outdoing the entire MS model…. until… Azure.

The brainchild of a “OZ like” smart guy who can navigate the corporate machine of MS into new unchartered waters. MS has always been good at changing direction when necessary but it looks like this time they took the old Apple slogan “think different” to heart – and they may have a new world to build.

Azure positions itself as a solution to faster, better and cheaper rather than doing the same thing the old way. Finally, MS has fixed the key issue technologists have been facing for years. The old model of publishing software is dead and the life cycle for products, feature introduction and scalability will be defined by the Cloud space. This latest version promises to change the game for millions of companies around the world. Cloud computing is set to play a major role in defining the way it will be used and the adoption rate.

The key for me is their overall initiative.  There is a strong focus, not a pet project or a hard sell.  This is soon to be a replacement for hosting businesses as we know it.  (while converting existing large players to a MS cloud platform.)

I suspect that we will look back at this moment as a key crossroads in the future of computing. Let’s see what happens in the next few months.

As for me, I am preparing.